Companies go green to improve operations and make more money

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Companies say they are finding no shortage of financial backing for green projects like reforestation. 4 out of 5 Australian businesses want to meet common industry standards for sustainability and 1/4 are altering their supply chains to be more environmentally responsible, according to a survey of 200 Australian business leaders by HSBC.

The Australian results show two-thirds of business leaders believe environmental factors are the most important operational issues facing their business, which is why many of them are making changes to their operations and supply chains.

HSBC globally has pledged $US100 billion in sustainable financing and investment by 2025, to help its clients develop and install clean energy and lower-carbon technologies.

HSBC Australia’s head of commercial banking Steve Hughes said environmental moves were about profitability as much as social altruism.

“As well as taking action on the very real threat of climate change, a firm’s transition into more sustainable ways of operating can offer real financial benefits,” he said.

One of the firm’s clients, WA-based timber producer Wespine Industries, said it has made a number of changes to its practices that were producing financial benefits.

The company had also received federal funding to invest in a new $8 million continuous drying kiln, which Mr Warrand said had reduced its energy spend by 30 per cent, thereby saving about $1 million annually.

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